In order to make healthy eating a breeze during a busy week, weekend food preparation is a must. By taking an hour or two to organize and prepare food, you will save hours of time during the week…not to mention stress! Below are some really basic ideas on what foods to prepare ahead of time.
1. Hard boiled eggs: These can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They are easy to grab with a piece of fruit and a slice of while grain toast for breakfast on the go. Hard boiled eggs also work for snacks and as salad or sandwich toppers for lunches.
2. Protein: Choose one for the week and batch cook a large quantity to throw in salads, serve with brown rice and vegetables, add to stir fry, etc. This could chicken, turkey, fish, meat, pork, tofu or beans.
3. Snacks: Just like we do at the resort, you could make a snack basket or snack drawer. Fruit, snack size bags with nuts, string cheese, PB and celery, hummus and veggies, Larabars or Kind bars are some ideas.
4. Complex Carbohydrate: Choose 1-2 whole grains/starches per week and prepare them on the weekend. This will make adding them to meals much simpler. Try quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, butternut squash or baked potatoes. For grains, follow the cooking directions on the bag to ensure the proper ratio of grain to liquid (typically 1:3). You can even cook them in vegetable, chicken or beef broth for extra flavor. For starches, try roasting or baking them!
5. Vegetables: It is so important to be eating vegetables with each lunch and dinner. To make this easier, pre-chop vegetables on the weekends so they are easy to grab for snacks and meals. Same goes for fruit! Try roasting vegetables ahead of time to be reheated when needed. Toss desired vegetable (cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, squash, etc) with 1-2 tbsp of oil and seasonings. Roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
6. Easy lunch prep: Be sure to think about easy options for quick lunches. We would recommend making a big batch of soup or chili to be eaten throughout the week. Stock up on easy proteins like canned beans, canned tuna or salmon, hardboiled eggs, cottage cheese and hummus.